European Parliament votes to lift Marine Le Pen immunity over Isis tweets

Far-right leader faces three-year prison term for ‘publishing violent images’

Harriet Agerholm
Thursday 02 March 2017 11:48
EU Parliament votes to lift Marine Le Pen immunity over Isis tweets

The European Parliament has revoked French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s immunity for tweeting pictures of Isis violence.

Ms Le Pen – a member of the EU Parliament – is under investigation in France for posting three images in 2015 of executions by Isis, including graphic images of the death of American journalist James Foley.

On Tuesday, members of the EU’s legal affairs committee voted to lift her immunity, but the group’s decision needed to be backed by the whole parliament in a second vote.

Ms Le Pen’s position as an MEP has meant she has so far been shielded from prosecution.

Lifting her immunity means prosecutors can pursue her for the offence of “publishing violent images”, which can carry a penalty of three years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros (£64,000).

The lifting of her immunity from prosecution relates to this case only and any action is unlikely to take place before the first round of voting in the French elections on 23 April.

Ms Le Pen, who is in an increasingly tight three-way race to succeed François Hollande this spring, has already seen her earnings as MEP cut for a different charge involving alleged misuse of EU funds.

She has dismissed the legal case against her as political interference and called for a moratorium on judicial investigations until the election period has passed.

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